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Copyright © 2005, Eric Gustafson
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a r t i s t    o f   t h e    m o n t h

Interview with Eric Gustafson
by Barbara Tampieri

Can photography as a means of artistic expression offer more than painting, illustration, etc.?
Well, that's a very difficult question to answer because for myself - yes, I can express myself best in this form. But I would have to say that it is different for every person. Others may use a melody, canvas, or words to describe a sunset, I believe I work best capturing it through the medium of photography or behind a lens. And even as happy and comfortable as I am working with photography currently, I may venture to a new medium in the future. Whatever I feel best helps me to say what I'm trying to say, I will work with.

What do you want to communicate with your photos?
The primary would of course be what I think all artists want - emotions. Of course it is different for each piece that I create, too, so I simply try to be as honest as I can with letting my own idea of what I think each one specifically means to me say. For example something I just recently finished entitled "After Rain", where I want the viewer to feel as I felt while taking it. It was a very rural, isolated setting in the country..and it had just rained and you could smell the fresh earth. So when I am working with it later I adjust the hues, play with some adjustments and try to remain as true to my own feelings when I took it, and hope that transmits successfully. Secondly, I have always wanted a great atmosphere to be present in what I do. I think if you can become good at communicating the environment that you find interesting, through a camera lens, then you make it easier for others understand what you feel, see and think.

What are your future projects?
I hope to visit my Uncle in New Mexico again. I saw him early last year and he showed me some of the shrines and caves he has been working on. He basically creates these simply amazing spaces by carving into the earth for either spiritual, personal or commercial purposes. He has even been commissioned to make some as a home, and for the state as therapy for people to be able to stay in for personal healing! But I would like to go and use my visual skills to document them better. They truly are works of art on their own, and can't help but want to lend my artistic eye to see that they are captured as beautifully as they deserve to be. Other then that though, nothing immediate planned. I will be continuing to explore my local cities, displaying my work on my site ( http://www.antilimit.com ) and hope to travel abroad as much as possible (to any country that will let me in!). I would be so grateful and elated if I could find an opportunity for myself that would allow for more consistent travel and photography in my life.

Is there a subject or technique or even another form of art you would like to try in the future, as a personal challenge?
Absolutely! I hope to remain open to as many different mediums and methods in which to create art as possible. The very same way that the computer has revolutionized photographic editing (vs. a darkroom) I believe there will be other advancements that I will be nothing short of eager to try my hand at. But I do hope to move a bit more into portrait and raw street photography. I have gotten over initial reservations that I had of shooting in public, but to do this more often would be a challenge for me that I think I am ready to take.